A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

January 1, 1847 – December 31, 1847

Performance icon
January 1, 1847: Cantata in onore del Sommo Pontefice Pio Nono for solo voices, chorus and orchestra by Gioachino Rossini (54) to words of Marchetti is performed for the first time, in the Senate (Campidoglio), Rome, in honor of Pope Pius IX. It is largely made up of selections from Rossini’s operas.
Performance icon
January 1, 1847: Robert (36) and Clara (27) Schumann give their third concert in Vienna. Clara plays Schumann’s piano concerto, conducted by the composer, as well as music of Chopin (36) and Mendelssohn (37). Eduard Hanslick reports, “Attendance was very poor, the applause cool and obviously only directed to Clara.” It is the first time that a concert involving Clara Schumann loses money.
Performance icon
January 2, 1847: Irenen Waltz op.32 by Johann Strauss (21) is performed for the first time, in Ungarisch-Altenburg.
Event icon
January 2, 1847: Franz Liszt (35) in Bucharest writes to Marie d’Agoult in Paris telling her that he is not offended by her novel Nélida. The novel is her satire of their life together.
Event icon
January 8, 1847: US-Mexico War: United States forces defeat the last Californian defenders of Los Angeles at the San Gabriel River.
Event icon
January 10, 1847: US-Mexico War: United States forces enter Los Angeles for a second time.
Performance icon
January 10, 1847: Jenny Lind participates in a concert by Clara Schumann (27) in Vienna, ensuring a success.
Event icon
January 13, 1847: US-Mexico War: The Cahuenga Treaty, which gives Alta California to the United States, is signed by the governor of the province, General Andrés Pico, and US General John C. Fremont.
Performance icon
January 15, 1847: Trio for piano and strings op.17 by Clara Schumann (27) is performed for the first time, in Vienna, the composer at the keyboard.
Event icon
January 17, 1847: One member of the doomed Donner party, near death, reaches a white settlement in the Sacramento Valley with the tale of starvation and cannibalism.
Performance icon
January 17, 1847: Franz Liszt (35) gives the first of three concerts in Jassy (Iasi, Moldova).
Event icon
January 19, 1847: US-Mexico War: Mexican residents and Pueblo Indians kill American governor Charles Bent in Taos, precipitating a general revolt throughout New Mexico.
Event icon
January 24, 1847: US-Mexico War: An American relief force from Santa Fe attacks the Mexican and Indian insurgents near Santa Cruz de la Cañada, forcing them to retreat.
Performance icon
January 27, 1847: Architecten-Ball-Tänze op.36, a waltz by Johann Strauss (21), is performed for the first time, in the Goldener Strauß, Vienna.
Event icon
January 28, 1847: Carlos Fernando Martínez de Irujo y McKean, marques de Casa-Irujo, duque de Sotomayor replaces Francisco Javier Istúriz y Montero as Prime Minister of Spain.
Event icon
January 29, 1847: US-Mexico War: Americans from Santa Fe defeat Mexican and Indian insurgents at Embudo Pass.
Performance icon
January 30, 1847: Industrie-Quadrille op.35 by Johann Strauss (21) is performed for the first time, in Baden bei Wien.
Event icon
January 30, 1847: The village of Yerba Buena is renamed San Francisco by the alcalde, Lieutenant Washington Allon Bartlett.
Event icon
February 3, 1847: A united Diet is summoned in Prussia by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. It is given the right to veto financial measures but is not democratically elected.
Performance icon
February 3, 1847: Bachus-Polka op.38 by Johann Strauss (21) is performed for the first time, in the Goldener Strauß, Vienna.
Event icon
February 3, 1847: US-Mexico War: United States troops arrive at Taos pueblo, which has been fortified by Mexican residents and Pueblo Indians.
Death icon
February 3, 1847: Rose-Alphonsine Plessis (Marie Duplessis) dies in Paris at the age of 23. Among her lovers wer Franz Liszt (35) and Alexandre Dumas fils who will immortalize her in his novel La Dame aux Camélias.
Event icon
February 4, 1847: US-Mexico War: United States troops overcome the defenders of Taos. 150 of the defenders are killed. US casualties number seven dead, 45 injured. 15 rebel leaders will be executed.
Performance icon
February 8, 1847: Explosions-Polka op.43 by Johann Strauss (21) is performed for the first time, in the Goldener Strauß, Vienna.
Event icon
February 8, 1847: US-Mexico War: Invading United States forces arrive at the port of Veracruz.
Performance icon
February 10, 1847: Wilhelminen-Quadrille op.37 by Johann Strauss (21) is performed for the first time, in Dommayer’s Casino, Heitzing.
Event icon
February 14, 1847: Hector Berlioz (43) leaves Paris for St. Petersburg. His lover, Marie Recio, is not informed of the details of his whereabouts. The trip is made during an unusually snowy winter.
Performance icon
February 14, 1847: Franz Liszt (35) gives the first of two concerts in Kiev. It is probably here that Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein first sees and hears Liszt.
Event icon
February 15, 1847: Franz Liszt (35) visits the home of Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein in Kiev. She invites him to her country estates. He accepts.
Performance icon
February 15, 1847: Seladon-Quadrille op.48 by Johann Strauss (21) is performed for the first time, in Dommayer’s Casino, Heitzing.
Event icon
February 15, 1847: A letter from Italian chemist Ascanio Sobrero of the University of Turin to Théophile-Jules Pelouze is published by Pelouze in L’Institut. It describes Sobrero’s discovery of nitroglycerine.
Performance icon
February 17, 1847: Frédéric Chopin (36) and August Franchomme perform Chopin’s Sonata in g minor for cello and piano op.65 for the first time, in his Paris apartment before George Sand and her daughter, Eugène Delacroix and two others. See 23 March 1847.
Performance icon
February 18, 1847: Vielka, a revision of Ein Feldlager in Schlesien by Giacomo Meyerbeer (55), revised by Birch-Pfeiffer, is performed for the first time, in Theater an der Wien, Vienna. The title role is sung by Jenny Lind. It is very successful, though not enough to please the composer. See 7 December 1844.
Performance icon
February 21, 1847: Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (41) makes her third and last public appearance as pianist as she accompanies a vocalist at the Berlin Singakademie.
Event icon
February 22, 1847: US-Mexico War: US and Mexican forces engage at Buena Vista, near Saltillo. The day’s action is indecisive.
Event icon
February 23, 1847: US-Mexico War: US and Mexican forces engage once again at Buena Vista. After a day-long battle, both sides still hold the field but the Mexicans have suffered over twice as many casualties as the Americans.
Event icon
February 24, 1847: US-Mexico War: U.S. troops awake at Buena Vista to find the Mexican army has withdrawn. About 2,500 people were killed or wounded at Buena Vista.
Event icon
February 28, 1847: After a trip of two weeks by train, postal coach and iron sled, Hector Berlioz (43) reaches St. Petersburg.
Event icon
February 28, 1847: US-Mexico War: United States forces defeat Mexicans at the Sacramento River, 25 km north of Chihuahua.
Event icon
March 1, 1847: Friedrich August Karl Maria Philipp Joseph, Baron zu Rhein replaces Karl von Abel as President of the Council of Ministers of Bavaria.
Event icon
March 4, 1847: Wilhelm and Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (41) give a soiree to introduce Robert (36) and Clara (27) Schumann to Berlin society.
Performance icon
March 8, 1847: A command performance of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s (55) Vielka before Emperor Ferdinand of Austria, conducted by the composer before an overflow audience, goes very well. See 18 February 1847.
Event icon
March 9, 1847: US-Mexico War: A United States army lands south of Veracruz without opposition.
Event icon
March 10, 1847: US-Mexico War: US forces begin to surround Veracruz. This will be completed 13 March.
Performance icon
March 14, 1847: Macbeth, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi (33) to words of Piave and Maffei after Shakespeare, is performed for the first time, in Teatro della Pergola, Florence directed by the composer. The work proves to be a great success and Verdi is called on stage dozens of times.
Performance icon
March 15, 1847: Felix Mendelssohn’s (38) concert aria On Lena’s Gloomy Heath for voice and orchestra to words of Ossian is performed for the first time, in London.
Event icon
March 15, 1847: Clara Schumann (27) writes from Berlin: “I have taken a great fancy to Madame Hensel and feel especially attracted to her in regard to music, we almost always harmonize with each other, and her conversation is always interesting, only one has to accustom oneself to her rather brusque manner.” (Todd, Fanny Hensel, 337)
Performance icon
March 15, 1847: Hector Berlioz (43) gives the first of five concerts in St. Petersburg at the Assembly Hall of the Nobility. At intermission he is presented to Tsarina Alyeksandra (the Tsar is too ill to attend). Berlioz is so successful with the audience that he nets 12,000 French francs.
Event icon
March 21, 1847: Antonio López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón replaces Valentín Gómez Farías as interim President of Mexico.
Event icon
March 21, 1847: The State of Guatemala becomes the Republic of Guatemala.
Event icon
March 21, 1847: US-Mexico War: US forces begin bombarding Veracruz.
Event icon
March 22, 1847: US-Mexico War: American commander Winfield Scott sends a surrender ultimatum to General Morales in Veracruz. Morales refuses to surrender.
Event icon
March 23, 1847: A devastating fire destroys one-third of the city of Bucharest. 15 people are killed.
Event icon
March 23, 1847: US-Mexico War: United States artillery begins three days and nights of bombardment of Veracruz.
Performance icon
March 23, 1847: Frédéric Chopin (37) and August Franchomme perform Chopin's Sonata in g minor for cello and piano op.65 for the first time in a semi-public setting, at a reception in his Paris apartment. See 17 February 1847.
Event icon
March 24, 1847: Pope Pius IX issues Praedecessores Nostros, calling on everyone in the Church and all Christian nations to send help to Ireland in the midst of famine.
Performance icon
March 24, 1847: Camille Saint-Saëns (11) plays before Hélène, duchesse d’Orléans at the Tuileries Palace, Paris. She is the daughter-in-law of King Louis-Philippe.
Event icon
March 25, 1847: Robert (36) and Clara (27) Schumann, accompanied by their two eldest daughters, return to Dresden from a four-month concert tour of Vienna, Brünn (Brno), Prague, and Berlin.
Performance icon
March 27, 1847: Slaven-Potpourri op.39 by Johann Strauss (21) is performed for the first time, in the Sperl Ballroom, Vienna.
Event icon
March 28, 1847: Joaquín Francisco Pacheco y Gutiérrez Calderón Carlos Fernando Martínez de Irujo y McKean, marques de Casa-Irujo, duque de Sotomayor as Prime Minister of Spain.
Event icon
March 29, 1847: US-Mexico War: After bombardment by United States naval forces, Veracruz surrenders.
Event icon
March 31, 1847: The second Treaty of Erzurum settles boundary disputes between Persia and the Ottoman Empire.
Event icon
April 1, 1847: Eugène Delacroix takes Frédéric Chopin (37) and George Sand to see his work on the ceiling of the Palais de Luxembourg. Delacroix has painted Dante in the likeness of Chopin and Aspasia in the likeness of Sand.
Event icon
April 1, 1847: After considering over 40 subjects for an opera over the last 17 years, Robert Schumann (36) reads Genoveva by Friedrich Hebbel. Within a week he sketches an overture.
Event icon
April 2, 1847: Giacomo Meyerbeer (55) departs Vienna after producing Vielka, making for his home in Berlin.
Event icon
April 2, 1847: US-Mexico War: President Santa Anna leads 6,000 men out of Santa Ana to meet the American threat in Veracruz.
Performance icon
April 2, 1847: Felix Mendelssohn (38) conducts a performance of his oratorio St. Paul. It is his last conducting appearance in Leipzig or Germany. He will soon be in England again to conduct several performances of Elijah.
Event icon
April 5, 1847: On or about this date, Hector Berlioz (43) reaches Moscow.
Performance icon
April 5, 1847: As the city of Mobile, Alabama celebrates the victory at Buena Vista, Henri Herz (44) presents his Variations brillantes et grande fantaisie sur des airs nationaux américains to the delighted citizenry. It is billed as a first performance, but throughout his tour of the southern states, it will always be billed as a first performance. In Vicksburg it will be called the Victory of Vera Cruz, in St. Louis The Battle of Buena Vista and in Nashville The Return of the Volunteers, A Heroic National Fantasia.
Event icon
April 6, 1847: Giacomo Meyerbeer (55) arrives home in Berlin from Vienna. Along the way he stopped in Breslau where he oversaw a German-language version of Robert le diable. He is not pleased with the production.
Performance icon
April 10, 1847: Hector Berlioz (43) performs in Assembly Hall of the Nobility, Moscow. His production is so successful that the public demands another performance but this is logistically impossible.
Event icon
April 11, 1847: King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia convenes the first bicameral Landtag (Diet), in Berlin.
Performance icon
April 11, 1847: A Piano Trio by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (41) is performed for the first time, at the Mendelssohn residence in Berlin.
Event icon
April 12, 1847: Felix Mendelssohn (38) arrives in London for the tenth, and last time.
Event icon
April 13, 1847: Franz Liszt (35) arrives at Lemberg (Lvov, Ukraine) for four concerts.
Event icon
April 13, 1847: While standing on a bridge over the Thames in London, Felix Mendelssohn (38) suffers a brief period of dizziness.
Performance icon
April 16, 1847: Felix Mendelssohn (38) conducts a revised version of his oratorio Elijah at Exeter Hall, London.
Event icon
April 17, 1847: US-Mexico War: Leading elements of the American army are attacked at Cerro Gordo, west of Veracruz, and forced to withdraw.
Event icon
April 18, 1847: US-Mexico War: United States forces overrun the Mexicans at Cerro Gordo. The Mexicans flee south at great speed.
Event icon
April 23, 1847: Andrea Donizetti, nephew of the composer (49), arrives once again in Paris sent by his father in Constantinople.
Performance icon
April 24, 1847: L’alcôve, an opéra-comique by Jacques Offenbach (27) to words of de Forges, de Leuven and Roche, is performed for the first time, at Tour d’Auvergne. It is a hit with public and press.
Performance icon
April 26, 1847: Felix Mendelssohn (38) gives his last concert with the London Philharmonic Society, in the presence of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and Jenny Lind.
Event icon
April 28, 1847: The Exmouth Castle, carrying about 240 Irish emigrants, three other passengers, and eleven crew from Londonderry to Quebec, goes aground on the Scottish Isle of Islay. There are only three survivors.
Event icon
May 1, 1847: Frédéric Chopin (37) suffers a severe respiratory attack in Paris including coughing and blood.
Event icon
May 1, 1847: The Smithsonian Institution is formally dedicated in Washington.
Event icon
May 1, 1847: Felix Mendelssohn spends an hour with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at Buckingham Palace.
Event icon
May 4, 1847: The upcoming wedding of Solange Dudevant, the daughter of George Sand, appears in Paris newspapers. It is the first that Frédéric Chopin (37) has heard of it.
Performance icon
May 4, 1847: Jenny Lind makes her London debut in Giacomo Meyerbeer’s (55) Robert Le Diable. At the conclusion, Queen Victoria, in an unprecedented gesture, throws a wreath at the singer’s feet. It is a glittering triumph, for the singer and the music. Felix Mendelssohn (38) is also present.
Performance icon
May 5, 1847: Hector Berlioz (43) conducts a performance of Roméo et Juliette in St. Petersburg. The Russian critic Stasov writes, “These were the most magnificent, most crowded, most brilliant, most deafening concerts that were presented (this) year. Everyone flocked to them; how could they do otherwise, when Berlioz has such a colossal reputation throughout all of Europe?”
Event icon
May 7, 1847: The American Medical Association is founded in Philadelphia.
Event icon
May 7, 1847: Passenger rail service between St. Petersburg and Moscow is inaugurated.
Event icon
May 8, 1847: An earthquake centered in Zenkoji, Japan and resulting landslides kill about 10,000 people.
Event icon
May 8, 1847: Andrea Donizetti sees the prefect Delessert and tells him that the family is determined to move his uncle Gaetano (49) from Paris to Bergamo and almost accuses him of a conspiracy to keep him there.
Event icon
May 8, 1847: Felix Mendelssohn (38) departs London for the last time.
Event icon
May 12, 1847: Felix Mendelssohn (38) arrives in Frankfurt from his tenth trip to England.
Event icon
May 12, 1847: Frédéric Chopin (37) suffers a debilitating asthma attack lasting four days. George Sand writes from Nohant, “...the one I love with an absolutely chaste and maternal affection is dying, victim of the insane attachment he bears me.”
Death icon
May 14, 1847: While conducting a choral rehearsal in Berlin, Fanny Hensel loses control of her arms. While a friend takes over the rehearsal she goes to soak her hands in hot vinegar. Those present hear her call through the open door, “How beautiful that sounds.” The paralysis goes through her body and she says, “It's a stroke, like Mother had.” She then loses consciousness. At 23:00 Fanny Cäcilie Mendelssohn Hensel dies in the Mendelssohn home at Leipzigerstraße 3, Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, aged 41 years and six months.
Event icon
May 15, 1847: US-Mexico War: United States forces occupy Puebla.
Event icon
May 17, 1847: The mortal remains of Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel are buried in the Alte Dreifaltigkeits Kirchhof in Berlin.
Event icon
May 18, 1847: A service in memory of Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel is held in the Singakademie, Berlin. In Frankfurt, her brother Felix (38) learns of her death, cries out, and faints.
Event icon
May 26, 1847: Giuseppe Verdi (33), accompanied by his student Emanuele Muzio, leaves Milan for London to produce I masnadieri.
Performance icon
May 31, 1847: La bouquetière, an opéra by Adolphe Adam (43) to words of Lucas, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.
Event icon
June 1, 1847: Bedrich Smetana (23) leaves the service of Count Leopold Thun and sets out on a piano playing tour of western Bohemia.
Event icon
June 1, 1847: Giuseppe Verdi (33) stops in Paris, his first visit, on his way to London.  He attends the Opéra for the first time.
Event icon
June 2, 1847: A congress of the League of the Just opens in New York. The league will later be known as the Communist League. Among the delegates is Friedrich Engels.
Event icon
June 3, 1847: Hector Berlioz (43) reaches Berlin from Russia.
Event icon
June 7, 1847: Giuseppe Verdi (33) arrives in London to produce I masnadieri.
Event icon
June 8, 1847: Franz Liszt (35) arrives in Constantinople. He will stay here five weeks, giving concerts in the Russian embassy and twice before the Sultan, who will award him the Order of Nichan-Iftikhar.
Event icon
June 10, 1847: The Chicago Tribune publishes its first edition.
Death icon
June 11, 1847: Sir John Franklin, leader of the ill-fated Northwest Passage expedition, dies near King William Island.
Performance icon
June 16, 1847: Alexander-Quadrille op.33 by Johann Strauss (21) is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
Event icon
June 16, 1847: US-Mexico War: US Navy forces defeat Mexican defenders of Villahermosa, Tabasco.
Event icon
June 19, 1847: Having returned to France from Spain, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (43) departs Toulouse for Paris.
Event icon
June 19, 1847: The families of Felix (38) and Paul Mendelssohn cross into Switzerland at Schaffhausen. The two brothers will spend time walking through the Alps.
Performance icon
June 19, 1847: Sängerfahren op.41, a waltz by Johann Strauss (21), is performed for the first time, in the Theater an der Wien, Vienna.
Death icon
June 22, 1847: The fourth child of Robert (37) and Clara (27) Schumann, Emil Schumann, dies at the age of 16 months.
Event icon
June 23, 1847: The Prefect of the Paris Police having relented slightly, Andrea Donizetti brings his uncle Gaetano (49) from Ivry back to Paris.
Event icon
June 26, 1847: The first railway in Denmark opens between Copenhagen and Roskilde.
Event icon
June 29, 1847: By the Convention of Gramido, radicals holding Porto surrender to Spanish troops and British ships sent to shore up the monarchy of Queen Maria II.
Event icon
July 1, 1847: German astronomer Karl Ludwig Hencke discovers Hebe, the sixth asteroid viewed from Earth.
Event icon
July 5, 1847: Today marks the last run of the Edinburgh to London mail coach. Railroads will now perform the duty more efficiently.
Event icon
July 9, 1847: 1,200 people attend the first of a series of banquets, this one in Paris, to organize opposition to the monarchy and expanded suffrage.
Event icon
July 17, 1847: Austrian troops occupy Ferrara to quell disturbances over the lack of reform by Pope Pius IX.
Event icon
July 18, 1847: Giacomo Meyerbeer (56) escorts Hector Berlioz (43) to a private meeting with the Prince and Princess of Prussia in Berlin.
Performance icon
July 18, 1847: Quadrille nach Motiven aus der Oper Die Königin von Leon op.40 by Johann Strauss (21) is performed for the first time, in Dommayer’s Casino, Heitzing.
Performance icon
July 22, 1847: Giuseppe Verdi’s (33) tragic opera I masnadieri, to words of Maffei after Schiller, is performed for the first time, at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London directed by the composer with a baton. The soprano is Jenny Lind. When Verdi arrives in the orchestra there is 15 minutes of applause during which Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales, and a large contingent of the royal family arrive. The opera enjoys a great success. However, it receives only four performances.
Event icon
July 23, 1847: Hermann von Helmholtz presents “On the Conservation of Force” to the Physical Society of Berlin. He proposes that the amount of energy in the universe is constant.
Event icon
July 23, 1847: The main group of Mormon emigrants reaches what will become Salt Lake City. Within two hours they begin plowing.
Event icon
July 24, 1847: Following serious disagreements and accusations, Frédéric Chopin (37) writes his last letter to George Sand. He uses the formal “vous”.
Event icon
July 24, 1847: Richard March Hoe of New York receives a US patent for a rotary printing press.
Event icon
July 24, 1847: Mormon leader Brigham Young arrives at the site of the new Mormon settlement near the Great Salt Lake.
Event icon
July 26, 1847: The Liberia Colony, founded for the repatriation of American slaves, is declared independent as the Republic of Liberia.
Performance icon
July 26, 1847: Ernte-Tänze, op.45, a waltz by Johann Strauss (21), is performed for the first time, in Brigittenau.
Event icon
July 27, 1847: Playwright Friedrich Hebbel arrives at the Dresden home of Robert Schumann (37). Schumann asked the author of Genoveva to help with his opera, of which he has completed two acts. Although enthusiastic about the project, the two do not get along.
Event icon
July 28, 1847: George Sand, at Nohant, responds to Chopin’s (37) letter of 24 July. She accuses him of loving not her, but her daughter Solange. “Goodbye, my friend…I shall thank God for this strange dénouement to nine years of exclusive friendship.” It is the last letter she will write to him. (Zamoyski 2010, 256)
Event icon
July 29, 1847: A newly elected House of Commons convenes in London. No party holds a majority but the largest party, the Conservatives, are split enough that the current Whig Prime Minister, Lord John Russell, will form a government.
Performance icon
August 1, 1847: The second incarnation of Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg, a grosse romantische Oper by Richard Wagner (34) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in the Dresden Hoftheater. See 19 October 1845, 13 March 1861 and 1 August 1867.
Event icon
August 5, 1847: US-Mexico War: United States troops begin their final march on Mexico City.
Performance icon
August 7, 1847: Bedrich Smetana’s (23) first concert on his tour of western Bohemia, at Cheb, is so poorly attended that he abandons the project.
Event icon
August 9, 1847: The first rail line crossing into Switzerland opens between Strasbourg and Basel.
Event icon
August 9, 1847: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (43) returns home to Novospasskoye from a two-year trip to France and Spain.
Event icon
August 12, 1847: Charles Latour Rogier replaces Barthélemy Théodore, Comte de Theux de Meylandt as head of government for Belgium.
Event icon
August 17, 1847: Six doctors convened by Andrea Donizetti examine Gaetano Donizetti (49) in his Paris apartment. Four think he can be moved, two do not.
Event icon
August 19, 1847: Hector Berlioz (43) declines the position of Director of Singing at the Paris Opéra. On the same day he signs a contract to be music director of a newly re-founded opera company at the Drury Lane Theatre, London.
Event icon
August 19, 1847: US-Mexico War: The battle for Mexico City begins as United States forces engage Mexicans at Contreras.
Event icon
August 20, 1847: US-Mexico War: United States forces drive the defenders of Contreras into Mexican troops in the Monastery of Churubusco. The Mexicans rake the Americans with murderous fire until they run out of ammunition. The monastery falls at a cost of 11,000 total casualties.
Performance icon
August 22, 1847: Wilde Rosen op.42, a waltz by Johann Strauss (21), is performed for the first time, in Gasthaus Kwiatkowsky.
Event icon
August 22, 1847: US-Mexico War: US and Mexican commanders agree to a truce at Mexico City.
Event icon
August 24, 1847: Charlotte Brontë sends the manuscript of Jane Eyre to the publishers Smith Elder & Co. under the pseudonym of Currer Bell.
Event icon
August 26, 1847: Paris Prefect of Police Delessert, after a protest from Andrea Donizetti, places gendarmes in the conciergerie of 6 avenue Chateaubriand, the home of his uncle Gaetano (49).
Event icon
August 27, 1847: The gendarmes posted yesterday by the Prefect of Police refuse to allow Gaetano Donizetti (49) to take his daily drive.
Event icon
August 27, 1847: US-Mexico War: Peace negotiations begin between presidential envoy Nicholas Trist and former President Herera in Mexico City.
Performance icon
August 29, 1847: Fest-Marsch op.49 by Johann Strauss (21) is performed for the first time, in Gasthaus Kwiatkowsky.
Performance icon
September 1, 1847: Fest-Quadrille op.44 by Johann Strauss (21) is performed for the first time, at the Wasserglacis, Vienna.
Event icon
September 6, 1847: Henry David Thoreau ends his 26-month residency at Walden Pond.
Event icon
September 6, 1847: US-Mexico War: General Scott demands the surrender of Mexico City by noon tomorrow or hostilities will resume.
Event icon
September 7, 1847: US-Mexico War: Presidential envoy Nicholas Trist concludes that the Mexicans are stalling for time and breaks off peace negotiations.
Event icon
September 8, 1847: Breitkopf and Härtel, Leipzig announce the publication of three mazurkas op.63 by Frédéric Chopin (37).
Event icon
September 8, 1847: US-Mexico War: After heavy fighting, US forces defeat Mexicans at Molino del Rey, five km from Mexico City.
Event icon
September 10, 1847: Radicals from southern Germany meet in Offenburg, Baden and lay out the Liberal platform including a list of 13 demands.
Performance icon
September 11, 1847: Susanna, a song by Stephen Foster (21), is performed for the first time, at Eagle Saloon, Pittsburgh. It is his first big success and is often cited as the beginning of popular music in the United States.
Event icon
September 12, 1847: Florencio García Goyena replaces Joaquín Francisco Pacheco y Gutiérrez Calderón as Prime Minister of Spain.
Performance icon
September 13, 1847: At a birthday party for Clara Schumann (28), Piano Trio no.1 op.63 by Robert Schumann (37) is performed for the first time.  See 13 November 1848.
Event icon
September 13, 1847: US-Mexico War: After 14 hours of shelling, United States forces capture the fortress of Chapultepec in furious hand to hand fighting. By the end of the day they capture the two western gates to Mexico City. At night, Santa Anna leads 9,000 men out of the capital.
Performance icon
September 14, 1847: Franz Liszt (35) essentially ends his virtuoso career with a performance in Yelisavetgrad (Kirovohrad, Ukraine), 250 km southeast of Kiev.
Event icon
September 14, 1847: US-Mexico War: United States forces enter and occupy Mexico City, to only sporadic resistance. It is the first conquest of a foreign capital by US troops.
Event icon
September 16, 1847: At Guadelupe, Antonio López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón resigns the presidency of Mexico in favor of Chief Justice José Manuel de la Peña y Peña.
Event icon
September 17, 1847: Kitsos Photou Tzavelas replaces Ioannis Kolettis as Prime Minister of Greece.
Event icon
September 18, 1847: After a stop in Frankfurt, Felix Mendelssohn (38) and his family return to their home in Leipzig from Switzerland.
Performance icon
September 18, 1847: Dorfgeschichten op.47, a waltz by Johann Strauss (21), is performed for the first time, at the Wasserglacis, Vienna.
Event icon
September 19, 1847: Moderate liberal François Pierre Guillaume Guizot replaces Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult, duc de Dalmatie as Prime Minister of France.
Event icon
September 19, 1847: After a year and a half of official refusals, social intrigue, and a disapproving public, Andrea Donizetti finally succeeds in beginning the trip which will transport his uncle Gaetano (49) from Paris to Bergamo.
Birth icon
September 23, 1847: Josephine Lang Köstlin (32) gives birth to her fifth child, her first girl, in Tübingen.
Event icon
September 25, 1847: Giacomo Meyerbeer (56) is elected an honorary member of the Prague Conservatory.
Event icon
September 28, 1847: Giacomo Meyerbeer (56) is elected a member of the Dom-Musik-Verein in Salzburg.
Event icon
September 30, 1847: This is the approximate date that Franz Liszt (35) arrives at the home of Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein in Woronice for the first time.
Event icon
October 1, 1847: Werner von Siemens, Johann Georg Halske, and Johann Georg Siemens sign a partnership in Berlin creating Siemens & Halske Telegraph Construction Company. They will open for business on 12 October.
Event icon
October 1, 1847: Antonín Dvorák (6) begins primary school in Nelahozeves, Bohemia.
Event icon
October 4, 1847: Ramón María Narváez y Campos, duque de Valencia replaces Florencio García Goyena as Prime Minister of Spain.
Event icon
October 4, 1847: Lucca is ceded to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany by Duke Carlo Ludovico of Parma.
Event icon
October 4, 1847: Giacomo Meyerbeer (56) tells Otto Nicolai (37) that owing to his intercession with King Friedrich Wilhelm, Nicolai will soon be Kapellmeister in the Berlin Court Theatre.
Event icon
October 6, 1847: The Donizetti entourage arrives in Bergamo at the Palazzo Basoni. Many well wishers are present but the composer (49) is so ill that he is almost carried into the house. He will stay in Bergamo with friends who will tend to him until his death.
Event icon
October 9, 1847: While rehearsing songs in Leipzig, Felix Mendelssohn (38) begins exhibiting symptoms of his final illness, including shivering, cold hands, and headaches.
Event icon
October 10, 1847: By a doctor’s orders, leeches are applied to Felix Mendelssohn (38).
Event icon
October 14, 1847: Otto Nicolai (37) is named Kapellmeister at the Royal Opera House, Berlin and artistic director of the cathedral choir. In this capacity he succeeds Mendelssohn (38).
Event icon
October 17, 1847: Mazurkas op.63 and Waltzes op.64 by Frédéric Chopin (37) are published in Paris.
Performance icon
October 17, 1847: Incidental music to Elmar’s play Ein Held und seine Liebe by Albert Lortzing (45) is performed for the first time, in Theater an der Wien, Vienna.
Event icon
October 19, 1847: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is published in London under the pseudonym Currer Bell. It sells like hotcakes.
Event icon
October 19, 1847: US-Mexico War: After intense naval bombardment, United States forces capture Guaymas.
Event icon
October 21, 1847: The Civil War between Catholic and Protestant cantons begins in Switzerland over the refusal of Catholic cantons to dissolve the Sonderbund.
Event icon
October 22, 1847: To celebrate the 36th birthday of Franz Liszt, Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein invites local gypsies to her estate at Woronice to play for him. There are many outdoor activities to which her serfs are invited. In honor of the day, she forgoes the annual payment of taxes for them.
Event icon
October 25, 1847: Felix Mendelssohn (38) writes to his brother that his health is improving daily.
Event icon
October 28, 1847: While eating lunch with his wife, Felix Mendelssohn (38) suffers a mild stroke and is brought to bed. He loses the ability to speak for 15 minutes.
Event icon
October 30, 1847: Franz Hauser writes to Josephine Lang Köstlin (32), informing her that Breitkopf and Härtel has agreed to publish three of her songs.
Event icon
November 1, 1847: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem Evangeline is published in book form.
Event icon
November 3, 1847: Felix Mendelssohn (38) suffers another stroke and loses consciousness.
Event icon
November 4, 1847: Hector Berlioz (43) arrives in London to take up his position as music director of the newly re-founded opera company at the Drury Lane Theatre.
Death icon
November 4, 1847: 21:24 Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy dies at his home at Königstraße 5 (Goldschmidtstraße 12) in Leipzig, Kingdom of Saxony, probably from a ruptured brain artery, aged 38 years, nine months, and one day. Attending him are his wife, brother Paul, Heinrich Schleinitz, the pianist Ignaz Moscheles and his doctors.
Event icon
November 5, 1847: Upon hearing the news of Mendelssohn’s death, Robert Schumann (37) immediately travels from Dresden to Leipzig.
Event icon
November 7, 1847: Thousands accompany the body of Felix Mendelssohn from his home to the Paulinerkirche, Leipzig. There, a funeral service takes place. Among the pallbearers are Robert Schumann (37) and Ignaz Moscheles. At 22:00 thousands accompany the mortal remains to the train station, there to be placed upon a train bound for Berlin.
Event icon
November 8, 1847: After an all night train trip from Leipzig, stopping at several towns to receive honors, the funeral train arrives in Berlin at 06:00 The body is borne to the Church of the Holy Trinity for a service, after which the earthly remains of Felix Mendelssohn are laid to rest in the cemetery of the church, near those of his sister Fanny (†0).
Birth icon
November 9, 1847: Wilhelmina Carstairs is born in Edinburgh. The attending physician, Dr. James Young Simpson, oversees the birth while chloroform is administered to the mother. It is the first use of chloroform in childbirth.
Event icon
November 10, 1847: The US passenger ship Stephen Whitney, 23 days out of New York bound for Liverpool, hits rocks in fog at Calf Island off the southern coast of Ireland. 92 passengers and crew are killed.
Event icon
November 10, 1847: US-Mexico War: The Mexican garrison of Mazatlán, Sinaloa, threatened by US warships, evacuates inland. Troops off the ships occupy the town tomorrow.
Performance icon
November 11, 1847: A German Liturgy for chorus and Psalm 98 for solo voice, chorus, two harps, two trumpets, and three trombones by Otto Nicolai (37) are performed for the first time, in Berlin.
Event icon
November 12, 1847: Foreign Minister Pablo Buitrago of Nicaragua writes to US Secretary of State James Buchanan in an attempt to enlist North American support to oppose an expected British takeover of the mouth of the San Juan River for a canal.
Event icon
November 13, 1847: Pursuant to voting in unoccupied Mexico, Pedro María de Anaya y de Alvarez replaces José Manuel de la Peña y Peña as interim President of Mexico.
Performance icon
November 14, 1847: Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn (†0) is given its Vienna premiere. “Music stands draped in black, singers dressed in black; on the conductor’s desk lay a score and a laurel wreath, but there was nobody standing at the desk, the performance being led from a lower stand by the chorus master.”
Event icon
November 15, 1847: US-Mexico War: United States forces capture Tampico.
Performance icon
November 15, 1847: Les premiers pas, an opéra comique by Daniel Auber (65), Adolphe Adam (44), Michele Carafa de Colobrano, and Fromental Halévy (48) to words of Royer and Vaëz, is performed for the first time, at the opening of the Opéra-National, Paris.
Performance icon
November 17, 1847: The Sacred Harmonic Society gives a long-planned performance of Elijah in Exeter Hall, London. The performers wear clothing suitable for mourning and the audience is asked to refrain from applause.
Death icon
November 20, 1847: Duke Wilhelm II of Hesse-Kassel dies and is succeeded by his son Friedrich Wilhelm. Friedrich Wilhelm has served as regent for his father since 1831.
Performance icon
November 20, 1847: Johannes Brahms (14) makes his first public appearance as a pianist in a concert by the violinist Birgfeld. He plays music of Sigismond Thalberg (35).
Event icon
November 21, 1847: The steamer Phoenix, carrying about 200 European immigrants, catches fire in Lake Michigan near Sheboygan. Somewhere between 190-250 people are lost, with 46 saved.
Event icon
November 24, 1847: Lucerne, center of the Swiss Conservatives, capitulates to a Radical army under General Dufour.
Performance icon
November 26, 1847: Jérusalem, an opéra by Giuseppe Verdi (34) to words of Royer and Vaëz (an adaption of I Lombardi), is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra. It is not a success.
Performance icon
November 28, 1847: A setting of Tantum ergo by Gioachino Rossini (55) is performed for the first time, in the Chiesa di San Francesco dei Minori, Bologna.
Event icon
November 29, 1847: Protestant cantons defeat Catholic cantons in the Swiss Sonderbund War. The Sonderbund is dissolved.
Event icon
December 1, 1847: Ludwig, Prince Ottingen-Wallerstein replaces Friedrich August Karl Maria Philipp Joseph, Baron zu Rhein as President of the Council of Ministers of Bavaria.
Event icon
December 3, 1847: North Star, a weekly abolitionist publication by Frederick Douglass, produces its first issue in Rochester, New York.
Event icon
December 4, 1847: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë are published together under the pseudonyms Ellis Bell and Acton Bell respectively.
Event icon
December 6, 1847: The 30th Congress of the United States convenes in Washington. The Democratic Party continues to control the Senate but the elections of 1846 brought the Whigs to majority in the House of Representatives. A newly elected member from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln takes his seat.
Performance icon
December 6, 1847: The Drury Lane Theatre, under the direction of Hector Berlioz (43), opens for its first production, Donizetti’s (50) Lucia di Lammermoor.
Event icon
December 7, 1847: Giacomo Meyerbeer (56) attends a dinner at the residence of the Prussian ambassador in Paris. After dinner, his friend Alexander von Humboldt informs him of a satrirical article about him in Charivari. Meyerbeer experiences a recurrence of his “nervous stomach complaint” and tries to make it to the door but collapses into the arms of his servant. A fellow guest, Dr. Philipps, accompanies the composer home and ministers to him there.
Performance icon
December 13, 1847: Zum Grossadmiral, a komische Oper by Albert Lortzing (46) to his own words after Duval (tr. Iffland), is performed for the first time, in Leipzig Stadttheater.
Death icon
December 17, 1847: Duchess Maria Luigia of Parma, daughter of Austrian Emperor Franz II and wife of Emperor Napoléon I, dies in Parma and is succeeded by Carlo II, son of Luigi I of Etruria and grandson of Duke Ferdinando of Parma.
Event icon
December 17, 1847: The paddle-wheeled frigate HMS Avenger goes aground near Malta. Out of a crew of 250, eight survive.
Performance icon
December 17, 1847: Esmerelda, an opera by Alyeksandr Sergeyevich Dargomizhsky (34) to his own words after Hugo, is performed for the first time, at the Bolshoy Theatre, Moscow.
Event icon
December 21, 1847: Arab leader Abdelkader (Abd al-Qādir ibn Muḥyiddīn) surrenders to the French in Algeria.
Event icon
December 22, 1847: From the estate of Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein in Woronice, Franz Liszt (36) writes to Marie d’Agoult, informing her that he has found a woman, “a great character united with a great spirit...”
Performance icon
December 22, 1847: Symphony no.8 by Louis Spohr (63) is performed for the first time, in Kassel. It is warmly, but not enthusiastically, received.
Event icon
December 23, 1847: Samuel Sebastian Wesley (37) meets with a serious accident on the River Rye, near Duncombe Park in North Yorkshire. Accounts vary on how the injury was received, but all agree that Wesley suffers a compound fracture in one leg. He will be confined in The Black Swan, an inn in Helmsley, for six months, unable to do much of anything except composing.
Performance icon
December 28, 1847: Haydée, ou Le secret, an opéra comique by Daniel Auber (65) to words of Scribe after Mérimée, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris.
Death icon
December 29, 1847: During dinner at the house of his son, Rev. WR Crotch, in Taunton, Somersetshire, United Kingdom, William Crotch suffers a heart attack and dies, aged 72 years, five months and 24 days. His remains will be buried in the St. Peter and Paul churchyard in Bishop’s Hull, Somerset near Taunton.